A Simple Way to Overcome Fear

Woman jumping across two mountain sides- freedom from fear!
sammie vasquez-unsplash

I remember the first time I was told to speak before an audience. I froze. I held the mic to my mouth but no words came out.

I was around 15 and the fear of speaking to many people was overwhelming.

Fast forward to today and public speaking is one of my superpowers. What changed? One thing. I spoke and spoke to lots of people so many times over the years that followed till the fear almost dissapeared.

(I say almost because to date, I sometimes feel a tiny bit of hesitation when I'm going to speak to people)

Me taking a training on delivering memorable presentations
Me taking a training on delivering memorable presentations

Sometimes, fear lies to us, it tells us there is danger when really there isn't. What we simply need to do is develop experience in handling that thing we fear.

We are afraid, often because we lack the experience or skills needed to succeed in something, and we fear the consequences of failing at it.

Think about it: when you started learning to drive, you may have had a twinge of fear— what if I drive poorly and have an accident? But you persisted and the more you drove, the more your fear reduced till it was erased.

how to overcome the fear of driving a car- naijauto.com

Imagine if you allowed the initial fear to keep you from learning to drive? You will have forever remained fearful of driving.

And this is how sometimes, we never try out new things that will have brought us much joy or value, but instead remain in a cage of fear.

I like how Bob and Debby Gass in The Word for Today describe this consequence of allowing fear lead to inaction: "When you let fear take hold, you become even more fearful and end up creating a debilitating cycle that works like this:

Fear breeds lack of action. Lack of action breeds lack of experience. Lack of experience breeds ignorance. And ignorance breeds fear. It makes you afraid to do the very thing that would be beneficial to you."

So the cure for fear is repeated action. Keep on doing the thing that you fear. The more you do, the more you develop experience and skill at it, and the more confident you become, and less fearful.

And here's how you can make it easier— start small. You don't have to go all out at once. You can take a tiny step of action in doing what you fear. Break the daunting goal into really small, doable actions.

For example, like I once was, perhaps you are afraid of talking to large groups of people, you can start with much smaller groups, and increase overtime.

Building ability in anything is like building muscle, you start with small challenges and increase the difficulty of the challenge as you increase in ability.

Perhaps you may be saying, "Dipo, it’s sometimes difficult to do the thing that you fear, even when you start small"

I agree. In this link I share how to overcome the inner critic that discourages you from making that bold step of action:

And below are 7 things that can give you the courage and confidence to do what your fear:

Inspire someone to have the courage to do what they fear and achieve their goals— Share this article.

Need help processing fear? Read this article!

Want to connect for more helpful content? Follow on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Medium on Dipo Adebayo.

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